A key pillar in the Torrens system is that an interest in land which is registered should be secure, or else monetary compensation for the loss of that interest should be paid.

The Assurance Fund funds this compensation under the provisions of Part 18 in the Real Property Act 1886.

The circumstances in which the Fund may be held liable for compensation fall within the following categories:

  • loss in consequence of fraud
  • loss through the bringing of land under the Torrens system
  • loss through the registration of any other person as proprietor
  • loss in consequence of any error, omission, mistake, misfeasance or misdescription in the Register Book.

Proceedings should be taken first against the person whose action led to the loss (e.g. the person who acquired title to the land through a fraudulent act). If that person is dead, has become bankrupt, cannot be found, or for whatever other reason compensation cannot be fully recovered from them, then proceedings can be taken against the Registrar-General for payment out of the Assurance Fund.

Applying for compensation

An application for compensation from the Fund must be brought within 20 years from the time when the right to make such application first accrued.

In some instances, it is possible for the amount of compensation payable from the Fund to be reduced if the applicant's loss or damage is attributable in whole or on part to the negligence of that applicant, or of a person through or under whom the applicant claims.

Making a claim

If you believe that you may have grounds to make a claim, it is suggested you seek legal advice in the first instance.

Further enquiries should be directed to AGD.RegistrarGeneral@sa.gov.au.